The National Electoral Commission (NEC), Chairman Justice Damian Lubuva yesterday assured voters and Arumeru East residents that results for the Sunday’s by-election will be counted at polling stations and results announced soon after.
He made the remarks when opening a one-day meeting, which involved NEC officials and leaders of political parties here yesterday.
Lubuva stressed that there would be no delay in announcing the poll results. “People of Meru should count on us in this…we’ll make sure that election results are announced within the shortest time possible.”
He said preparations for the by-election have been completed and that everything was under control.
“All materials needed for the election are in the area, waiting for the polling day,” he said, commending political party leaders to sensitising the people to come out during the election.
Deputy Commissioner of Police responsible for Monitoring and
Evaluation, Isaya Mngulu, asked Meru residents to remain calm as they wait for the polling day.
He called upon the people in the constituency to comply with the rules and regulations governing the bye-election, saying his force would not tolerate those who might try to create disruptions.
Recounting on the incidents of crime, Mngulu said: “So, far there are about 36 cases which have been reported and police are still working on them.”
For his part, Chadema senior official, John Mrema asked NEC to ensure that election results are announced within the shortest period of time as any delays will lead to chaos in the area.
“I call upon NEC to ensure they announce election results within the shortest period of time to avoid skirmishes in this area,” he said, adding: “Taking too long is too dangerous.”
The by-election follows the death of former MP Jeremiah Sumari early this year at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) where he was undergoing treatment.
The election campaigns which have lasted for three weeks will end on Saturday, to allow Meru residents cast their votes on Sunday. Eight political parties have registered candidates for the Arumeru East by-election, but only three managed to launch their campaigns.
The three parties are Chama Cha Mapinduzi, Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) and Tanzania Labour Party (TLP).
Mid this month NEC announced plans to employ its own returning officers to supervise constituency elections in the 2012/2013 fiscal year, instead of district executive directors, many of whom are commonly perceived as biased.
The NEC decision comes amid complaints from stakeholders and political parties calling for replacement of public servants, mainly the District Executive Directors to ensure fair and free elections mainly at constituency level.